Back in January I commented on the American Historical Association's approval of a resolution calling for an end to the war in Iraq. That approval was contingent upon its ratification by the full membership of the AHA through an email vote, which took place last week after a comment period.
The results of the email ballot have now been released: of 2,018 ballots cast, 1,550 (75.61%) were in favor of the resolution; 498 (24.29%) were opposed. Those voting represented 14.67% of the AHA membership.
I wasn't particularly surprised by the results, but I was extremely surprised at the low number of votes. Not even 15% of AHA members could be bothered to click on a URL and cast a vote on this resolution? Seems pretty pitiful, really.
This was a tough decision for me. While I agree wholeheartedly with the substance of the resolution ("Resolved, That the American Historical Association urges its members through publication of this resolution in Perspectives and other appropriate outlets: 1. To take a public stand as citizens on behalf of the values necessary to the practice of our profession; and
2. To do whatever they can to bring the Iraq war to a speedy conclusion"), after much deliberation I concluded that it was not in the best interests of the AHA to take this position as an organization. I voted against the resolution on those grounds, my support for it as an individual notwithstanding.